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Postcard Teas, Mayfair, London

limster | Mar 2, 2008 08:44 AM

A tranquil retreat, airy and bright. A deep sense of care and passion for the pleasures of the leaf. Teas are precisely brewed, with attention to brewing times and temperature. I've yet to ask them about their water, but it doesn't taste tired, like ones kept warm in a heated container for hours.

The menu is thoughtful and diverse, covering major varieties and bringing out interesting and uncommon examples, like oolongs from (iirc) Thailand or India, distant from the native Fujian origins.

The white tea blended with coffee blossoms was subtle but mellifluous, and carried a nutty flavour that probably comes from the coffee blossoms.

A gyokuro ("jade dew"), a renowned Japanese green tea, brings out layers of flavour -- a light sweetness that expands into malt, then mellowing into an elegant nuttiness.

Pu-erh, a fermented tea from Yunnan that whose longevity exceeds most wines, is also represented. You can find ones that make a Petrus from a good year feel cheap if you look hard enough in the proper stores in places like HK. Here, I tasted a one from the 90's: it's complex smoky, earthy flavour is eloquent and expansive, but never overwhelming, centering around a gentle, nameless sweetness.

Please drink the teas as they are. There are wines that we don't serve mulled with spices or mixed with juices and fruit -- these wines we drink by themselves for their character and structure. In the same manner, these teas are meant to be appreciated on their terms, without cream, sugar or lemon. Take a whiff of their bouquet, sip it and see how the flavours play out. If appropriate, request a few infusions to get a sense for how the personality of the tea evolves.

They also sell a range of teas and tea paraphernalia.

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